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Re: Velociraptor Question

>Velociraptors' toes had the ability to move over a wide arc as you say,
>Tom, but wouldn't the method of use more likely be similar to that of a
>cat, which extends its claws to the limit and then relies on the larger
>muscles of the leg for the strength to do the actual slashing?

Probably a bit of both - the ligament/muscle attachments of dromaeosaurid
toes are considerably larger than in equivalent-sized, less specialized
theropods.  Also, dromaeosaurid tibiae and metatarsi are proportionately
shorter and stouter than those of other equivalent-sized theropods, so
there was certainly a component of leg power to the slashing.
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist in Exile
U.S. Geological Survey
Branch of Paleontology & Stratigraphy
MS 970 National Center
Reston, VA  22092

email:  tholtz@geochange.er.usgs.gov 
Phone:  703-648-5280
FAX:            703-648-5420